A mailbox in your home? A fun way to encourage reading and writing.

Have you ever thought about having a mailbox in your home or classroom? It can be the start of a fun and easy way to get your children involved in writing, and reading too!   

image source hownowdesign (Flickr - Creative Commons)

Adults and children are spending longer hours on the computer (and sadly also in front of the television) and less time with books and papers and pens. Writing anything, especially if it’s beside assigned school work, has become a chore to many children. While we enjoy the convenience of email; we should also take time to show children how good it feels to write a letter/greeting card. Encourage them to send post cards and greeting cards to their family and friends and I am sure they will enjoy receiving a reply. This simple activity on a regular basis will encourage children to express their thoughts and write them down. Younger children can draw and colour as their way of input. 

But what about a mailbox in your home? How would that work? I’ve had one in my home off and on for the last year and a half. It adds another dimension to communication between my child and my hubby and I. Basically all it involves is writing letters to each other using the mailbox as the central point for holding and collecting the mail. The mailbox is easy to make; a shoe box or cereal box can work (children would have fun decorating it).  

Here is how the mailbox works. Write a letter to your child and put it in the box. He collects the ‘mail’ and reads it; for younger children the parent can read the letter out loud to them. Then your child writes a reply and put it in the mailbox. Now it’s the parent’s turn to check the mail. He/she reads the letter (alternatively you can have your child read your letter to you). you can also use the mailbox to share artwork, memos, jokes, quotations and even comics clipped from the newspapers. The mailbox idea works well with older children and even teenagers. It provides the opportunity for each person to express their thoughts and feelings in a way they may not when speaking directly to each other.  

Through this mailbox activity you have automatically involved your child in the process of both reading and writing. In addition, not only is this ongoing activity fun, it provides you and your children with the opportunity to grow closer through spending time together and in sharing your thoughts and ideas. 

So is the mailbox idea something you’d try in your home to get your children reading and writing? Maybe you’ve done something similar. Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!

8 thoughts on “A mailbox in your home? A fun way to encourage reading and writing.

    • Wa’alaykum assalam Sister Amel:

      I’m so happy you like the mailbox idea. I look forward to hearing how it works for you.

      I wrote about your blog, Resources for Muslim Writers, in a post earlier this month.

      I appreciate your visits and comments, JazakiAllah Khair.


      P.S. I left a comment on your blog some time ago, hope you got it!

  1. Assalaamu Alaikum

    Masha Allaah your site looks good. I came to your blog after a very long time as I did not have internet access for a long time. Mail Box idea is great. I will use it Insha Allaah as Maimoonah grows! Jazzakillaah Khayr for sharing!

    • Wa ‘alaykum assalam Umm Maimoonah:

      I am happy you like the mail box idea! It’s wonderful to have you visit. JazakuAllahu Khairan for your kind comments.

  2. assalamu aliakum

    I’ve tried the mailbox idea often with my 4 kids. They loved it. They really get excited opening their mailboxes in the mornings and sending each other small cards/notes. The little ones who can’t write, can just draw pictures and participate in it too!
    Like everything else, it needs work and creativity to keep it going.
    Jak for the reminder of its benefits.

    • Wa ‘alaykum Assalam Nayma:

      Shukran for sharing your family’s experience using the ‘mailbox.’ We don’t our mailbox use everyday. Sometimes we even forget it’s there! 🙂 But it’s always wonderful getting a note, drawing or greeting card. And I save the messages I receive, especially from my little one, so that I can read them when he’s all grown up, inshaAllah.

  3. I really like this mailbox idea. I will try it and let you know how it goes. I’m sure my children will be excited about it..especially my daughter…she is the writer and artist in the family. Thank you so much for this idea…may Allah(swt) reward you.

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